In 2012 SAP announced that SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio will basically succeed SAP Dashboards and they made a few recommendations on where customers should “migrate” towards. In the next couple of days I will share a few blog posts outlining the options that are available and what some of the limitations are when considering a move from SAP Dashboards to SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and how to overcome them.
Figure 1: Message in 2012
In 2012 the message from SAP was very clear, that customers with SAP BW and SAP HANA should consider SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio as their primary tool. Customers that were using SAP Dashboards mainly with SAP BW were given a similar recommendation and customers that were using SAP Dashboards mainly with non-SAP BW / non-SAP HANA sources – for example SQL Server or IBM DB2 – were told to still keep using SAP Dashboards.
Shortly after that the message and roadmap became more concrete and SAP gave a guidance to customers with BW and HANA, “agnostic customers” as well as those customers that were mainly using SAP Dashboards as a standalone tool.
If you take a close look a Figure 2 then you will notice that some of the items listed on this roadmap are still outstanding:
- Offline Mobile Support is planned for Q4 2016
- A engine for local calculation is planned for Q4 2016
Figure 3: BI Portfolio Simplification
Nearly 12 months ago SAP started to communicate the simplification of the overall BI portfolio and looking at the two rows in the middle there is a very important message, which is that SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio apps are now also positioned in the Discovery and Analysis area. SAP delivered several templates that provide strong self service capabilities using Design Studio capabilities and therefore it was only the next logical step to also position those templates in the Discovery and Analysis area.
So why should customers consider moving to SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio ?
- SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards is clearly not a “strategic investment” anymore
- SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards only provides limited Mobile BI support
- SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards does not provide a true eventing framework
So lets compare the first set of capabilities:
As you can see, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio does cover the important connectivities such as SAP BW, SAP HANA, as well as SAP BusinessObjects Universes.
Connectivity towards Live Office or QaaWS (Query as a Web Service) doesn’t exist at this point in time for SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio.
Being able to use Excel as a data source is available as partner extensions.
The table above shows some of the key benefits that SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio delivers. Design Studio is able to trigger the load of the data using the scripting engine, something that SAP Dashboards never really was able to do.
Also SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio provides capabilities such as background processing, parallel query execution, and the ability to exchange data source and dimensions at run time.
When it comes to the ability to launch / store a dashboard in the different locations, you can see the differences between SAP Dashboards and SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio shown in Figure 6.
The offline capabilities are already on the roadmap of SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio for Q4 2016 and the ability to integrate a dashboard with Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Outlook are also available as Partner Extensions.
When comparing some of the key differentiators between SAP Dashboards and SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, you can see that SAP Dashboards was designing the dashboards for a fixed screen resolution and did not have the ability to adjust the size based on the screen resolution. In regards to the data source, SAP Dashboards only provides limited support for SAP HANA and SAP BW, but on the other hand provided strong support for non-SAP data source.
SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio does address all the topics on the dashboard design by not relying on a fixed screen resolution and by being able to adjust the dashboard to the screen resolution. In regards to the data source, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio provides a strong integration with SAP BW and SAP HANA and also provides access to the SAP BusinessObjects Universes. Access to Excel as a data source is available as a partner extensions.
In the first part we looked at the main differences between SAP Dashboards and SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, as well as some of the key reasons why customers should migrate. In the next part we will look at the different components available in SAP Dashboards and SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio.